Tag Archives: uconn

seniors

No. 11 Louisville beats No. 19 UConn 81-48

By Sam Draut–

No. 11 Louisville celebrated the careers of the four seniors who have seen the most wins in their careers in Cardinal history as Louisville routed No. 19 Connecticut 81-48 on Saturday at the KFC YUM! Center.

Stephan Van Treese, Tim Henderson, Luke Hancock, and Russ Smith were all honored before the game, then started and played integral roles in the Cardinals first victory over a ranked team at home this season.

Montrezl Harrell led Louisville (26-5) with 20 points and 11 rebounds, his ninth double-double of the season.

“He’s an incredible basketball player right now. He’s improved his passing. He’s improved his dribbling. He’s improved his one-on-one moves,” coach Rick Pitino said.

Hancock paced the seniors in scoring, hitting four three-pointers, finishing with 16 points and three rebounds.

But Smith stole the show, passing his way to a career high 13 assists.  In 30 minutes of play, Smith took just two shots from the field, scoring three points and adding four steals.

“I can’t ever imagine Russ Smith, knowing him, on senior night, would pass up all opportunities to score and get 13 assists. It shows you how much he has grown,” Pitino said. “He got to play point guard and he knows the role of a point guard, which is pass before shot.”

Van Treese, starting his ninth consecutive game, pulled down a season high 13 rebounds and scored six points.

“We need him to play exactly the way he played,” Pitino said. “We need him because now he’s a legitimate player that helps us win the game so now we fully expect him to play that way every night.”

Tim Henderson logged 14 minutes in his first career start and scored two points.

Louisville opened the game on a 17-5 run through the first eight minutes.  Connecticut (24-7) started the game 0 of 8 from the field, but settled in an trailed 30-18 at halftime.

“If we can play that stifling defense, we are a tough team,” Pitino said. “We have been playing 90-100% man this season, and tonight we went all zone, which I thought we played awesome.”

Connecticut’s offensive struggles stemmed from a poor performance from the Huskie’s backcourt of  Shabazz Napier and Ryan Boatright.  UConn’s two leading scorers combined for 13 points on 4 of 24 shooting from the field.

“The biggest focus on the game was wearing those two guys out physically without fouling,” Pitino said.

After going five games without hitting a three-pointer, Wayne Blackshear connected with three on Saturday and finished with 11 points.

Chris Jones added 10 points off the bench.

With the win, Louisville won a share of the AAC regular season title with Cincinnati.

“We are happy with it, as long as we have a share of it,” Pitino said. “I think that is great and they have had a terrific season. We are excited about it. We will share it with anybody and we had a great season. I am very proud of our guys. ”

Photo by Austin Lassell

Women’s basketball falls to top ranked UConn 81-64

By Sam Draut

 

Geno Auriema and UConn have had Louisville’s number.  The trend continued Sunday in Storrs, Connecticut when the top ranked Huskies defeated the fourth ranked Cardinals 81-64.

UConn forward Breanna Stewart scored 24 points and added ten rebounds to help the Huskies cruise to their 31st consecutive victory.

“She’s a special player. I told our players there is no question that she is the best player in the country in my opinion. What she does is when you have breakdowns, she makes you pay for them,” U of L head coach Jeff Walz said.

Louisville (23-2), stayed competitive through the first twenty minutes, trailing 44-33 at halftime.

Tia Gibbs connected with a three pointer at the 15:36 mark in the second half, trimming the Huskie lead to 47-40, but Stewart responded with a three pointer and a layup of her own to spark a 16-5 run that put the game out of reach.

“She can make big shots in big moments that other players can’t make,” Auriema said.

Asia Taylor finished with 18 points and eight rebounds while Sara Hammond scored 11 points and pulled down six rebounds.

Shoni Schimmel struggled to find a rhythm throughout the game as UConn denied her the ball a majority of the game.  Schimmel was 4 of 15 from the field and finished with nine points and six rebounds.

Collectively, Louisville couldn’t get in sync offensively, shooting just 29.4 percent in the second half.

“You have to play a perfect game. It’s an absolute battle. You’ve got to have 40 minutes of mentally tough basketball,” Walz said.

All five of UConn’s starters scored in double digits.

“Anybody can score. So they are a hard team to guard when they do what they do best, which is score,” Schimmel said.

Louisville starting point guard Bria Smith missed her second consecutive game due to tendinitis in her knees.

The Cardinals will face the Huskies again at the KFC YUM! Center on March 9.  Connecticut has won the past 14 of 15 meetings against Louisville.

“I think we are going to learn a lot from each time we play them. Like tonight, we did a lot of good things, but there are some things we need to learn from,” Schimmel said.  “For us, we can learn from each game which is only going to help us.”

Louisville’s next game is against Temple on Wednesday at the KFC YUM! Center.

 

Louisville football defeats UConn

By Sam Draut

Charles Gaines has been in the end zone three times this year, but the sophomore cornerback has yet to

play a series on offense.

Previously, Gaines had a 93 yard kickoff return and a 70 yard interception return that went for

touchdowns. In Friday night’s 31-10 win over Connecticut, 0-8, Gaines blocked a punt and returned it

seven yards for the score to put U of L, 8-1, up 7-0 midway through the first quarter.

Teddy Bridgewater led the Cardinal offense with 288 yards passing and one touchdown. The junior

quarterback completed 21 of 37 passes and spread the ball out to nine different receivers.

“Coming into this game, we knew we had to make a bunch of big plays on our side. We had a couple

drops, but at the end of the day, we got the win. We’ll have a chance to correct mistakes,” Bridgewater

said.

The U of L offense was well below its season average, finishing with 369 yards of total offense and

just 81 yards rushing. In particular, the offense was slowed by a few uncharacteristic dropped passes

throughout the game.

“They need to keep their eyes on the ball. A lot of times they would start running with the ball before

they caught it,” Strong said. “I think of the one DeVante dropped, he was running before he saw himself

catch it. They need to worry about the catch first, then run after you catch it.”

The running game averaged 2.7 yards per carry, in contrast to the season average of 4.7 yards per carry.

Dominique Brown finished with 29 yards on nine carries while Senorise Perry ran for 27 yards and a

touchdown on 11 carries.

U of L appeared sluggish and out of sync for much of the night, finishing the game with 12 penalties

accumulating to 101 yards. UConn picked up three first downs off of the Louisville penalties.

“It wasn’t very clean but we came away with a win. There were just too many penalties, we didn’t play

smart, dropped too many balls offensively,” Strong said.

The UConn offense had scored just nine touchdowns during the season; Louisville’s defense was able

to shut them down for much of the night. UConn was held to 237 total yards of offense, only 58 yards

coming on the ground off of 33 carries, which was just 1.8 yards per carry.

The defense created five turnovers, three interceptions and two forced fumbles. Terrell Floyd returned

his interception 17 yards for a touchdown late in the third quarter to put the Cardinals up 28-3.

“Defensively we started off very slow, they continued a drive due to a penalty but we got a turnover

to make up for it. I was very pleased with our defense,” Strong said. “I know they got that score late

but we were able to get a lot of guys in the game who usually don’t play. We just have to play better,

we have to play smart, we have to play disciplined. When we do that, we will be able to put a complete

game together, which we didn’t do today.”

“The primary goal is to get a W,” Bridgewater said. “We’re just happy to get the job done tonight.”

U of L faces Houston on Saturday November 16 at 7:00 at Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium.

Photo by Austin Lassell

Women’s AAC Preview

By Dalton Ray

CINCINNATI

Cincinnati still has most of what it had a season ago. Seven players started double-digit

games for the Bearcats and six of them return. One of the returnees is Dayeesha Hollins,

who took nearly twice as many shots as any teammate and averaged twice as many points as

any other player. On the positive side, Cincinnati went 9-6 at home a season ago, the best

home record under Head Coach Jamelle Elliott.

Kayla Cook also returns and she was the only player to start all 30 games last season.

She also posted a 1.6 assist-to-turnover ratio while finishing first on the team in free-
throw percentage (78.4 percent). Bianca Quisenberry was the number 35 best guard in the

country coming out of high school as four star recruit from Ohio and should expect to play

immediately.

CONNECTICUT

The Huskies outscored Big East opponents by nearly 30 points a game with 29.9 points

per game a season ago. The newly shaped American Athletic Conference is not as good a

league as the dismantled Big East. This is bad news for all teams in the conference, especially

new comers to the league. While Breanna Stewart, Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis, Stefanie

Dolson and Bria Hartley are back, depth is the question mark for defending national

champions. Still, Brianna Banks, Morgan Tuck, Moriah Jefferson, Kiah Stokes and the

freshmen might finish no worse than second in the league on their own.

Dolson played and started in 38 of UConn’s 39 games and was third on the team with

13.6 points while leading the squad with 7.1 rebounds per game. A 2012-13 WBCA/State

Farm All-America Team selection, she also earned a spot on USBWA All-American Team

and the AP All-America Third Team. Breanna Stewart played in 36 of UConn’s 39 games

and ended up second on the team at 13.8 points per game and third on the squad with 6.4

rebounds per contest along with leading the team with 74 blocks.

HOUSTON

Houston won’t match last season’s improvement in the win column. The Cougars saw

a 14 win swing last year going from 3-26 to 13-17 in their second season under Todd

Buchanan. Porsche Landry is no longer around, and she did a lot for this team a season ago

so someone new or the team itself will need to step up to replace her contributions. Post

players are not the league’s strong suit so senior Yasmeen Thompson could thrive after she

averaged 8.6 points. 8.5 rebounds and 1.4 blocks in her first season.

Senior Marrisa Ashton, who averaged 7.3 points and 5.0 rebounds per game last season,

is also returning. Someone who should play a large key to the Cougars’ success will be senior

Teo’onna Campbell. She was one of three Cougars to start all 30 contests in her first season

at Houston. She ranked second on the team with 32.9 minutes per game. Averaging 7.8

points and she ranked second on the squad and eighth in C-USA with 8.2 rebounds per

contest.

RUTGERS

This young team will benefit from the AAC’s lack of multiple powerhouses. Freshman

Tyler Scaife is the latest big-time recruit to end up in New Jersey. And with Erica Wheeler

and Monique Oliver no longer around, there should be shots for her to take. Hitting 3-

pointers would also help as the Scarlet Knights return a total of 14 3-pointers from last

season.

Kahleah Copper was named to the Big East All-Freshman Team last season and looks to

pick up a lot more on the work load this season. Transfer Alexis Burke will be able to play

this season and this should give the Knights extra firepower to work with in replacing last

season’s departures. Syessence Davis returns as the team’s leading point guard as she led the

team in assist 13 times last season.

TEMPLE

An impressive string of four consecutive postseason appearances under Tonya Cardoza

came to an end last season. To bounce back the backcourt will be relied on heavily. Raeska

Brown and Tyonna Williams are the team’s two leading returning scorers, while new

arrival Shi-Heria Shipp averaged nearly double digits at George Washington a season ago.

Natasha Thames will return as very experienced player and was second on the team with

eight rebounds per game. Safiya Martin and Taylor Robinson are both freshman that could

provide great size and length if they can step in and learn quickly. Erica Covile being healthy

should help the Owls.

MEMPHIS

The Tigers arrive in the Big East after a fourth consecutive trips to the postseason

under Melissa McFerrin. They lost Nicole Dickson, who led the team in scoring at better

than 18 points per game a season ago, but sophomore Ariel Hearn, the team’s assist leader

and second-leading scorer overall last season, is set to take over. The addition of redshirt

freshman Mooriah Rowser is also a boost.

Pa’Sonna Hope returns and appeared in all 32 games for Memphis, averaging 5.2 points

and 4.7 rebounds a game. Sophomore Asianna Fuqua-Bey had 19 starts in her freshman

campaign. She averaged 6.4 points and 5.4 rebounds per game and ranked second on the

squad in rebounding and she will be Memphis’ leading returning rebounder.

SOUTH FLORIDA

Andrea Smith and Andrell Smith finished up their college careers last season and that

means the Bulls need to replace 43 percent of 2012-13’s points. Inga Orekhova, 12.7

points per game, is a good 3-point shooter who does a lot of other things in terms of

ball distribution and creating turnovers, but she isn’t quite the prototypical go-to scorer

yet. Trimaine McCullough arrives with huge expectations for a freshman and expects to

compete for playing time.

South Florida has the height that most teams in the conference can’t match up with. Ivana

Vuletic, Paige Cashin, Akila McDonald, and Katelyn Weber give the Bulls a large advantage

with size. Tamara Taylor looks to provide an extra spark as she was rated the number17

best junior college transfer this season. While the team has its share of upperclassmen they

will rely on freshman and sophomores to step in and play key roles.

SMU

Keena Mays is a proven scorer, who can get others involved and produces beyond her

height on the boards. The Kansas transfer and reigning Conference USA player of the year

averaged 18.4 points, 5.7 rebounds and shot 40 percent from the 3-point line. Three other

starters return. There isn’t much size and rebounding, which could be an issue, but Brittney

Hardy’s return from a redshirt season could be a big plus.

Senior Korina Baker will return in her second season as a starter and will look to

improve her already developed pass-first game, 110 assists last season. Along side her will be

sophomore Kamy Cole. As a freshman Cole played in 30 games with 22 starts as a freshman

and averaged 9.8 points per game and was second on the team with 57 3-point field goals

made. She had a team-high 51 steals and 41 assists and second among starters with a 77.4

free-throw percentage. Cole and Mays will most likely be the leaders of this team but will

need their upperclassmen heavy bench to pitch in.

UCF

The Knights lose leading scorer Gevenia Carter but add redshirt junior Brittni

Montgomery, who sat out last season after transferring from Virginia Tech. Montgomery

isn’t going to shoot as much as Carter did, but she could be a good post complement to

Briahanna Jackson’s backcourt scoring. A preseason all-conference selection in the AAC,

Jackson needs to become more efficient with 32 percent shooting, 123 turnovers, but she is

talented.

Senior center, Erica Jones entered UCF’s top five all-time rebounders last season and

give the Knights a very polished post presence. Along with Yanique Gordon and the shot-
swatting Stephanie Taylor UCF has an intimidating front court. The guards are young but

they will rely on the front court heavily and they will hope Sara Djassi will continue her 10.8

points and 8.5 rebounds per game theat she produced in the C-USA Tournament.